I started working for Arab News long before it was created because the publishers at the time, Hisham and Muhammad Ali Hafiz, asked me to prepare a study for a daily English newspaper when there was none in the country. That took two years until publication day.
The next step involved hiring qualified editors, proof-readers and reporters. My choice was India, especially Bombay because it was the basis for English language journalism in India and still is. We were fortunate in selecting and hiring some of the finest editors in the city, some of whom lasted with us several years and performed excellent service before retiring to Bombay, Delhi and south India, particularly Kerala.
The years I spent with Arab News, ending 1980, before I joined the company’s Malayalam and Urdu newspapers were easily the most rewarding of my life in journalism.
Arab News to me was a school of endless pleasure and profit in which I spent more than 18 years reading, writing, reporting and learning. It was one of the best English language newspapers in the Middle East — and still is at the apex of papers in the region.
Arab News is getting better, I think, because it has not stopped improving thanks to the quality of editors and their assistants as well as reporters who have kept alive the tradition of quality journalism since its inception.
Such newspapers everywhere enrich the heritage of publishing in many languages and so will Arab News which is still Saudi Arabia’s finest English language daily and one of the Middle East’s best English dailies.
• Farouk Luqman was the editor in chief of Arab News from Feb. 25, 1993 to June 1, 1993.